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Around the World

US Speaker, Pelosi, Atiku frown at Trump’s travel ban placed on Nigerians 

President Donald Trump has included Nigeria into a six-country ban list due to failure to meet required security standard. 

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Impeach Trump, US House Speaker, Pelosi, Atiku, react to US travel ban on Nigerians, others 

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the United States, and former Presidential Candidate,  Peoples’ Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar have frowned at the travel ban placed on Nigerian citizens by the US government.

Pelosi condemned the decision made by President Donald Trump to include Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar on the travel ban list.  According to her, such list contravenes the American values and poses threat to the US’ security as well as the rule of law in the US.

She reacted to the travel ban list, which Nairametrics had earlier reported, through her Twitter handle, stating that, “The Trump Admin’s expansion of its un-American travel ban is a threat to our security, our values and the rule of law.

“Barring more than 350 million people from predominantly African countries from travelling to the US, this rule is discrimination disguised as policy.”

Pelosi to move against ban list: Pelosi, who is a member of the Democrats Party (opposition party to Trump’s Republican party), said the House would move against the ban list, which has been termed as religious discrimination because it targets countries with large Muslim population.

In her tweet, Pelosi stated that, “In the coming weeks, the House will bring the NO BAN Act to the Floor to prohibit religious discrimination in our immigration system and limit the President’s ability to impose such biased and bigoted restrictions.”

Is Trump punishing Nigerians because of Buhari? The former Presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, has cautioned President Trump against punishing Nigerians for the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari.

[READ MORE: US finally include Nigeria in travel ban list)

Note that reasons for the travel ban list were due to the failure of Nigeria and other banned countries to meet the security and information-sharing standard of the US. Also, while the ban on visas stops immigration of Nigerians to the US, it doesn’t stop the government officials from travelling to the US.

Reacting to the travel ban list, Atiku wrote on Twitter, “While I understand the reasons given by the Trump administration (the failure of the @MBuhari led administration to share information and to address issues of terrorism), the ban does not take into account the pro-American sentiments of the Nigerian public.

“…and the solidarity previous Nigerian administrations have had with the United States. I urge the government of President @realDonaldTrump to consider the history of US-Nigerian relationships.”

Atiku added in another tweet that, “Nigerians love the United States and have been a major force for the positive development of that great nation: 77% of all Black doctors in the United States are Nigerians. Nigerians are also the most educated immigrant community in America bar none.”

Target government, not Nigerians: With the impact Nigerians play in war-coalition with the US and the development of US, Atiku said Nigerians should not be targeted, rather, the ban should be placed on government tor failing to perform their duties.

“The current Nigerian administration may have its deficiencies and deep faults, but the Nigeria people ought not to be punished for their inefficiencies.

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“Once again, I call on President @realDonaldTrump to consider adopting measures that individually target those in government who have failed in their duties, rather than target the entire Nigerian population,” Atiku suggested in his Tweet.

 

However, the Presidency, through the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina, has reacted to the development. It described the move as a temporary restriction placed on Nigeria and five others by the US’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which will be effected on 21st February 2020. According to Adesina, the suspension does not apply to other U.S visas such as those for official, business, tourism and student travel.

He said, “The DHS states the suspension of “immigrant visas” became necessary following a review and update of the methodology (performance metrics) adopted by the U.S Government to assess compliance of certain security criteria by foreign governments.

Nigeria remains committed to maintaining productive relations with the United States and its international allies especially on matters of global security. Accordingly, President Muhammadu Buhari has established a committee, to be chaired by the Hon. Minister of Interior, to study and address the updated U.S. requirements. The committee will work with the U.S Government, INTERPOL and other stakeholders to ensure all updates are properly implemented.”

 Background: The ban on Nigeria comes two years after Nigeria received twice as many immigration visas from the United States compared to other countries that also made the list – Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan, and Myanmar. Over 8,000 immigration visas were given to Nigerians, while 2,000 were issued to Sudanese nationals, 290 to Tanzanians, and just 31 to Eritreans.

US Travel Ban on Nigerians: Buhari says it’s mere speculation

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Why the US banned Nigeria, others: The list is made up of countries that failed to meet US security and information-sharing standards.

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According to the acting Homeland Security Secretary, Chad Wolf, “These countries, for the most part, want to be helpful but for a variety of different reasons simply failed to meet those minimum requirements that we laid out.” Nairametrics had earlier reported the planned ban.

The ban blocks these countries from obtaining certain types of visas including immigration. This rule out the issuance of visas that can lead to permanent residency for citizens of the listed countries. The travel ban list was first introduced by President Trump in 2017 but it affects countries with Muslim majorities mostly.

Nigeria and Eritrea’s population account for 50% of Muslims while Kyrgyzstan and Sudan have large Muslim majorities, and Tanzania also has a sizable Muslim community. Although in 2017, President Trump also restricted citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Venezuela, and North Korea.

[READ MORE: How Coronavirus would affect crude oil demand negatively)

The ban won’t affect non-immigrant visas given to people for temporary stays, including visitors, those doing business or people seeking medical treatment – would not be impacted by the new rules. Also, students are exempted as well as those with “significant contacts” in the US.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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    Appointments

    Okonjo-Iweala announces appointment of 4 Deputy DG for WTO

    The DG of the WTO, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has appointed 4 new Deputy Director-Generals for the international trade organization.

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    Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, World Bank, Davos, World Economic Forum, WTO accepts nomination of Okonjo-Iweala as DG despite opposition from Egypt,WTO:  Happy to be in final rounds of DG Campaign- Okonjo Iweala

    The Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, announced the appointment of 4 new Deputy Director-Generals for the international trade organization.

    The 4 newly appointed Deputy Director-General are Angela Ellard of the United States, Anabel González of Costa Rica, Ambassador Jean-Marie Paugam of France and Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang of China.

    The disclosure is contained in a public statement issued by the WTO on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, and can be seen on its website.

    This is coming barely 2 months after the resumption of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of WTO.

    Okonjo-Iweala in her statement said, “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of four new Deputy Directors-General at the WTO. It is the first time in the history of our Organization that half of the DDGs are women. This underscores my commitment to strengthening our Organization with talented leaders whilst at the same time achieving gender balance in senior positions. I look forward to welcoming them to the WTO.’’

    Ms Angela Ellard (United States) has a distinguished career of service working at the US Congress as Majority and Minority Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director. She is internationally recognized as an expert on trade and international economic policy, negotiating trade agreements and supporting multilateral solutions as part of an effective trade and development policy. Ms Ellard has negotiated and delivered significant bipartisan trade policy outcomes and legislation for well over 25 years with Members of U.S. Congress and senior Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administration officials. Ms Ellard also worked as a lawyer in the private sector, working on trade litigation and strategy, policy and legislative issues. Ms Ellard obtained her Juris Doctor, cum laude from Tulane University School of Law and her Master of Arts in Public Policy also from Tulane. Ms Ellard is a frequent lecturer at law, graduate, and undergraduate classes and has published articles on trade law and policy.

    Ms Anabel González (Costa Rica) is a renowned global expert on trade, investment and economic development with a proven managerial track record in international organizations and the public sector. In government, Ms Gonzalez served as Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica; as Director-General for International Trade Negotiations; as Director-General of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE); and as Special Ambassador and Chief negotiator of the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. Ms Gonzalez also served at the World Bank as a Senior Director, the WTO as Director of the Agriculture and Commodities Division and as Senior Consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank. More recently, Ms Gonzalez has worked as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Ms Gonzalez obtained her master’s degree from Georgetown University Law Center with the highest academic distinction and has published extensively on economic issues and trade.

    Ambassador Jean-Marie Paugam (France) has held senior management positions in the French Government on trade, most recently as Permanent Representative of France to the WTO. He has also held a number of senior positions in the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, including as a member of the Executive Committee of the French Treasury. He has also served as Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre in Geneva. He has accumulated a deep and practical knowledge of government practices on trade as well as being familiar with high-level dialogues on trade and international economic operations. He has published a number of articles on trade-related issues, in particular when serving as Senior Research Fellow on International Trade at the French Institute for International Relations (IFPRI). Ambassador Paugam graduated from ENA in Paris and obtained degrees in Political Science from the Institute of Political Science in Aix-en-Provence and in Law from the Faculty of Law Aix-Marseille III.

    Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang (China), who is currently serving as Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Commerce of China, has long and extensive experience on WTO issues, international negotiations, and policy research. Ambassador Zhang, until recently, served as China’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and previously as Deputy Permanent Representative.

    He has had an extensive career of more than 30 years in international trade, serving as Director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation; as Director-General of the Department of WTO Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce; and as Director-General of the Department of Policy Research of the Ministry of Commerce. Ambassador Zhang holds a bachelor’s degree in Law, a Master’s degree in International Relations and a PhD in International Politics from Peking University.

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    Around the World

    Meet Tami, the Nigerian teen with admission offers from 5 Ivy colleges, 9 others

    Tami’s goal is to work on innovations in AI and augmented reality and he hopes to work on research and projects in these fields in college.

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    Before now Oluwatamilore Kabiawu, popularly known as ‘Tami’ was only known as a 4.6 GPA student. But a few weeks back, news about him hit the web when he got admission offers from 14 colleges, including 5 Ivy Colleges.

    While his colleagues are worried about getting accepted into their choice Colleges, Kabiawu’s greatest challenge now is which to choose among a myriad of colleges. Some of the colleges are Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Columbia and MIT.

    Tami’s secret

    The secret of the Fair Lawn High School senior has been described in several ways by different people.  To Joseph Lake, his guidance counsellor, Tami’s unrelenting spirit has taken him this far.

    He said, “Tami is truly a gifted young man. What Tami is experiencing is the result of his self-esteem and feelings of love and belongingness being nurtured to its full potential.”

    His mum, Dami, commented, “I’ve always taught them [Tami and twin brother Tommy] to believe in themselves and be very polite, to always stand their ground.”

    READ: What to consider as you budget for college

    A close relative hinted that Tami (Class Of 2021), is leaning heavily toward Harvard University, “the best of both worlds — technology and liberal arts,” where he aims to major in computer science and do research into artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

    To Kabiawu, his success stems from hard work and persistence.

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    “What makes me most happy is making these little goals and sticking with them, and gradually over time achieving the big goal,” he said.

    READ: Steps to take to bag international scholarships

    The Cow head story

    The accomplished track and field athlete, who is also the President of the Future Business Leaders of America and National Honor Society, is not limited to academics. His ability to think out of the box, and break norms is also his strength.

    He said, “I wrote my college essay on decapitated cow heads, which I know sounds a little crazy. I was 9 when I visited my family in Nigeria for a wedding.

    The cows were slaughtered near the reception so that the meat would not need to be refrigerated. As I walked by I just saw these decapitated cow heads and was really, like, shocked by it and really appalled.

    Rather than dismissing the unfamiliar, I recognized the importance of embracing differences. I likened the experience to growing up in Fair Lawn.

    READ: 7 Ways to pay for your higher education

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    I didn’t necessarily fit a particular stereotype of how people thought Black students should act. “Over time, I’ve gained confidence in myself, and people are drawn to that, and I was allowed to be more authentic.”

    This experience means a lot to the athlete, as the Cow heads changed his perception about fighters like him.

    “Now, I see “cow heads” as a metaphor for people who are unabashedly themselves and unafraid to show who they are,” he said.

    What you should know

    Tami’s goal is to work on innovations in AI and augmented reality and he hopes to work on research and projects in these fields in college.

    Tami was born in London, moved to Atlanta for a short while, then moved to Troy, New York where he attended elementary school while his mother pursued a PhD at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

    The family relocated to Fair Lawn when Tami started sixth grade at Memorial Middle School. His twin brother, Tommy, will be playing football at RPI next year.

    Kabiawu is set to graduate on June 22 at Fair Lawn High School’s Sasso Field.

    Tami Kabiawu’s dad lives and works in Nigeria, and the son said his interest in technology stems from being able to connect with him via FaceTime and WhatsApp.

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